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Four rescued from rip current by RNLI lifeguards at Three Cliffs Bay

Lifeguards News Release

Visitors to Three Cliffs Bay have been reminded to respect the water after four people were rescued from a rip current by RNLI lifeguards this afternoon (Sunday 28 August).

Four people who had kayaked around to the south Gower beach from nearby Oxwich Bay had decided to go in for a swim at Three Cliffs when they got into difficulty around 1.30pm.

The group of two men and two women had started swimming after paddling their kayaks to the left of the red and yellow flagged swimming area. In solid surf conditions of about 3ft and the tide at around mid-tide, they drifted sideways towards the rip current which runs strongly out to sea at the left hand side of the beach.

RNLI lifeguard Aran Rees, who was patrolling on the water’s edge, noticed the group in difficulty and after radioing for support paddled out to the group on a surf rescue board.

The group of four had by this time been taken about 40m out by the rip current and were out of their depth and unable to return to shore. Aran reached them on the board on brought the two furthest out to sea in to the safety of the beach.

In the meantime fellow lifeguard Aidan McGuire swam out to the group with fins and a rescue tube to assist in rescuing the others. He assisted them back to shore.

None of the five needed further medical treatment, but one woman was advised to visit a doctor for checks as she had swallowed some water. All were given safety advice.

HM Coastguard also tasked Horton and Port Eynon RNLI lifeboat to the incident, but the volunteer crew of Helm Will Metcalfe, Ellie Sullivan and Tom Grove were stood down once they received word the five people had been helped from the water by lifeguards.

Jacob Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘This incident reinforces just how dangerously unpredictable sea conditions in certain parts of the Three Cliffs Bay can be at certain stages of tide. Visitors are encouraged to respect the water and think carefully about their safety.

‘Visitors to the beach should only swim while lifeguards are on duty between 10am and 6pm. Swimming outside of these hours can be dangerous and is not recommended. Visitors should always swim between the red and yellow flags, where RNLI lifeguards are on hand should anyone get into difficulty. Anyone with any queries about beach safety should approach our lifeguards who are more than happy to help.

‘Anyone who sees someone else in trouble in the water is advised not to attempt a rescue but to call for help from lifeguards, who are fully trained to deal with such emergencies. Alternatively, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

‘If you do find yourself caught in a rip current do not panic, try to hold onto anything you have which floats and keep your head above water. If you can put your feet down, do so. If not, do not swim against the current as you will tire yourself out. Instead, swim parallel to the current until you break free of it and return to shore. Raise your hand and call for help to attract attention.’

The daily RNLI lifeguard service at Three Cliffs Bay runs until Sunday 4 September. The seasonal safety service was introduced at Three Cliffs Bay this summer as part of a community safety plan developed by the RNLI, HM Coastguard, the National Trust and other landowners and stakeholders to help people enjoy the beach more safely.

Lifeguards will also be on Port Eynon beach, Caswell Bay, Langland Bay, Swansea Bay and Aberavon Bay every day until 4 September.

Media contacts:

For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland